Statements of Purpose

Reading prompts for different statements of purpose makes me feel like I have forgotten how to write. They are just to that degree where they are just a bit too complicated to complete. It’s so daunting to even think about beginning. All of them are just slightly different from the next and range from 300 words to 2,000 words, asking me to detail interests and faculty that I want to work with as well as examine my motivation and preparedness for college. All I can seem to write, however, is “I like object-oriented rhetorics and your faculty seems cool.”

I know I have things to say and I am probably making it more complicated than it needs to be. I just keep reading the prompts and the requirements for the PhD programs and thinking Am I good enough for this program? 

Once I’m in, I’ll be in and the blood, sweat, tears, and self-driven insomnia will be worth it. I know what I am after and I know that I want it more than anything right now. I can’t let the intimidation of applying stop me from applying. That would be killing my own dreams and I am not that kind of person.  I’m starting to realize that self-doubt is the only thing that will really keep me from pursuing my dreams. There is a song lyric from [Title of Show]’s “Die, Vampire, Die” that says, “Who do you think you’re kidding?
You look like a fool. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be good enough. Why is it that if some dude walked up to me on the subway platform and said these things, I’d think he was a mentally ill asshole, but if the vampire inside my head says it, It’s the voice of reason.” I always come back to this quote when I think I have a reason to doubt myself. Would I allow the mentally ill asshole to think those things about me and let him get away with it? Probably not.

I try to always figure out things that keep me motivated and I do connect a lot with quotes and positive sayings. I even try to impart positive quotes on my students, even though they probably hate me for it.

Right now, though, I am lost on what quotes will get me through this. I have my go-to ones, but applying for my PhD is such a big step that the vampires are louder than ever. This is my dream and it is so scary and intimidating. How do I keep going? How do I keep believing in myself when my quotes, my 4.0, my academic record, don’t seem like enough?

All of a sudden, the boring, safe life I had before grad school seems totally appealing. I hated working in law and I hated being in the 9 to 5 work environment, but I was good at it. I was good at the mundane and I know that I could easily go back to the mundane. I don’t, however, want to and I have to keep reminding myself of that. Yes, it seems safe, and, yes, I could do it. How many people actually pursue their dreams though? I need to be one of them.


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